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Tuesday 27th July 2021 02:46 PM

Facebook Maps Covid-19 Symptoms in The US, With Plans To Expand The Effort Globally


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Facebook has launched a coronavirus symptom tracking map in the US to help communities spot potential Covid-19 outbreaks.

The map, based on reporting by Facebook’s users, shows an estimated percentage of people with Covid-19 symptoms – though not confirmed cases – at the county level. It is updated daily and “can be helpful for policymakers and health researchers to forecast potential Covid-19 outbreaks,” according to the map’s website.

The map colours each county based on the density of symptoms occurring. On Tuesday, for example, the areas with the biggest percentages of symptoms were in Arizona’s Navajo County and Vermillion County in Indiana, with 3.7 and 3.5 per cent respectively.

The data is collected via surveys in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University. Each day, a certain number of Facebook users above 18 are invited to participate in the survey, which asks respondents to self-report symptoms associated with Covid-19 or the flu that they or anyone in their household have experienced in the past 24 hours, according to the map’s website.

“The survey responses are sent to the researchers and aren’t accessible to Facebook,” company founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote in an opinion article published in Monday’s edition of The Washington Post.

At the same time, Carnegie Mellon does not know the details of people taking the survey.

Attempts to trace the virus have run up against privacy concerns in the west, where some researchers have warned that using more invasive tech, such as location data, could lead to greater government surveillance in other areas in future. As a result, app makers have opted for consent-based models and less invasive tech, such as bluetooth.

Facebook has launched a coronavirus symptom tracking map in the US to help communities spot potential Covid-19 outbreaks.

The map, based on reporting by Facebook’s users, shows an estimated percentage of people with Covid-19 symptoms – though not confirmed cases – at the county level. It is updated daily and “can be helpful for policymakers and health researchers to forecast potential Covid-19 outbreaks,” according to the map’s website.

The map colours each county based on the density of symptoms occurring. On Tuesday, for example, the areas with the biggest percentages of symptoms were in Arizona’s Navajo County and Vermillion County in Indiana, with 3.7 and 3.5 per cent respectively.

The data is collected via surveys in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University. Each day, a certain number of Facebook users above 18 are invited to participate in the survey, which asks respondents to self-report symptoms associated with Covid-19 or the flu that they or anyone in their household have experienced in the past 24 hours, according to the map’s website.

“The survey responses are sent to the researchers and aren’t accessible to Facebook,” company founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote in an opinion article published in Monday’s edition of The Washington Post.

At the same time, Carnegie Mellon does not know the details of people taking the survey.

Attempts to trace the virus have run up against privacy concerns in the west, where some researchers have warned that using more invasive tech, such as location data, could lead to greater government surveillance in other areas in future. As a result, app makers have opted for consent-based models and less invasive tech, such as bluetooth.

Facebook is “partnering with faculty from the University of Maryland to expand this survey globally, and the team at Carnegie Mellon is building an application programming interface, or API, that will let researchers everywhere access the results,” Zuckerberg wrote.

China, where the first outbreak of the novel coronavirus was reported and where there is still the risk of a second wave, may be largely left out as Facebook is blocked on the Chinese mainland.

Facebook did not immediately respond to emailed queries on China’s involvement in the symptom tracking project and possible alternative to achieve global coverage that includes China.

The initiative comes at a time when the US has recorded the world’s highest number of Covid-19 patients and deaths. The symptom tracker is part of a larger Carnegie Mellon programme that also surveys Google users and will present real-time indicators of Covid-19 in the US later this week.

The researchers have received roughly 1 million responses per week from Facebook users and almost 600,000 from Google's Opinion Rewards and AdMob apps each day.

In China, local internet and tech giants, including Baidu and Tencent,, have rolled out epidemic maps which show the location of confirmed and suspected cases in real time.


SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST



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Posted on : Tuesday 27th July 2021 02:46 PM

Facebook Maps Covid-19 Symptoms in The US, With Plans To Expand The Effort Globally


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Posted by  Tronserve admin
image cap

Facebook has launched a coronavirus symptom tracking map in the US to help communities spot potential Covid-19 outbreaks.

The map, based on reporting by Facebook’s users, shows an estimated percentage of people with Covid-19 symptoms – though not confirmed cases – at the county level. It is updated daily and “can be helpful for policymakers and health researchers to forecast potential Covid-19 outbreaks,” according to the map’s website.

The map colours each county based on the density of symptoms occurring. On Tuesday, for example, the areas with the biggest percentages of symptoms were in Arizona’s Navajo County and Vermillion County in Indiana, with 3.7 and 3.5 per cent respectively.

The data is collected via surveys in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University. Each day, a certain number of Facebook users above 18 are invited to participate in the survey, which asks respondents to self-report symptoms associated with Covid-19 or the flu that they or anyone in their household have experienced in the past 24 hours, according to the map’s website.

“The survey responses are sent to the researchers and aren’t accessible to Facebook,” company founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote in an opinion article published in Monday’s edition of The Washington Post.

At the same time, Carnegie Mellon does not know the details of people taking the survey.

Attempts to trace the virus have run up against privacy concerns in the west, where some researchers have warned that using more invasive tech, such as location data, could lead to greater government surveillance in other areas in future. As a result, app makers have opted for consent-based models and less invasive tech, such as bluetooth.

Facebook has launched a coronavirus symptom tracking map in the US to help communities spot potential Covid-19 outbreaks.

The map, based on reporting by Facebook’s users, shows an estimated percentage of people with Covid-19 symptoms – though not confirmed cases – at the county level. It is updated daily and “can be helpful for policymakers and health researchers to forecast potential Covid-19 outbreaks,” according to the map’s website.

The map colours each county based on the density of symptoms occurring. On Tuesday, for example, the areas with the biggest percentages of symptoms were in Arizona’s Navajo County and Vermillion County in Indiana, with 3.7 and 3.5 per cent respectively.

The data is collected via surveys in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University. Each day, a certain number of Facebook users above 18 are invited to participate in the survey, which asks respondents to self-report symptoms associated with Covid-19 or the flu that they or anyone in their household have experienced in the past 24 hours, according to the map’s website.

“The survey responses are sent to the researchers and aren’t accessible to Facebook,” company founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg wrote in an opinion article published in Monday’s edition of The Washington Post.

At the same time, Carnegie Mellon does not know the details of people taking the survey.

Attempts to trace the virus have run up against privacy concerns in the west, where some researchers have warned that using more invasive tech, such as location data, could lead to greater government surveillance in other areas in future. As a result, app makers have opted for consent-based models and less invasive tech, such as bluetooth.

Facebook is “partnering with faculty from the University of Maryland to expand this survey globally, and the team at Carnegie Mellon is building an application programming interface, or API, that will let researchers everywhere access the results,” Zuckerberg wrote.

China, where the first outbreak of the novel coronavirus was reported and where there is still the risk of a second wave, may be largely left out as Facebook is blocked on the Chinese mainland.

Facebook did not immediately respond to emailed queries on China’s involvement in the symptom tracking project and possible alternative to achieve global coverage that includes China.

The initiative comes at a time when the US has recorded the world’s highest number of Covid-19 patients and deaths. The symptom tracker is part of a larger Carnegie Mellon programme that also surveys Google users and will present real-time indicators of Covid-19 in the US later this week.

The researchers have received roughly 1 million responses per week from Facebook users and almost 600,000 from Google's Opinion Rewards and AdMob apps each day.

In China, local internet and tech giants, including Baidu and Tencent,, have rolled out epidemic maps which show the location of confirmed and suspected cases in real time.


SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST


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facebook maps symptom tracking map mark zuckerberg app makers bluetooth baidu tencent social media